Matched - Ally Condie
Don’t expect action packed, fight for your life, save the world kind of dystopian novel here. This is a sit in your PJ’s with a hot cup of tea in your favorite reading spot kind of book. Drift away into the story of Cassia (pronounced Cash-a), a girl who lives in a calm society where her life is laid out before her. Who she will marry, what job she will do, where she will live as well as when she will die are all neatly chosen by the society.

In this world you don’t have to worry about disease, hunger or never finding your perfect match. Heart break is a thing of the past. After your 17th birthday you will attend a Match Banquet where your match is announced and you are presented with a microcard containing all the information about your perfect match chosen by the government’s special system. You learn about and see each other before you even set out on your first date. Everyone seems to live a peaceful life. It actually sounds kind of nice.

On Cassia’s 17th birthday at her Match Banquet she is thrilled to learn that her match is her best friend, Xander. It couldn’t be more perfect. So what’s Cassia’s problem? When she views her microcard she is shocked to see a different face. The face of Ky, a boy she also knows. The society does not make mistakes, so Cassia is stunned and confused. If you do not like romance or love triangles STOP RIGHT HERE. This is a romance and it does have a love triangle. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Due to Ky’s status, he is not a candidate to be matched with anyone. The more Cassia gets to know Ky the more fascinated she becomes with him. He teaches her how to write and helps her memorize a piece of forbidden poetry. Before long Cassia is torn between Mr. Perfect, the handsome, charming, sweet Xander and Mr. Brooding Poet, the mysterious, intelligent, off limits boy she just can’t stop thinking about.

Cassia soon begins to question the rules and realizes things may not be quite as perfect as she once believed. The story felt a bit slow around the middle but it really picked up towards the end and I was left scrambling to find Crossed just to see what happens next.

I’ve heard some attempt to compare this book to the Hunger Games. Aside from the dystopian aspect I didn’t feel these books were anything alike. This book focuses on the romance. Unlike Katniss, Cassia doesn’t do any fighting and she is open to love, marriage and following the rules.

We were thrilled to run into the talented Ally Condie in California at SDCC in 2013 and she was kind enough to chat with us about her books and sign our copies of Matched. It was a privilege meeting her. She is incredibly humble, sweet and genuine.

Recommendations: Anyone who enjoys a sweet romance (only mild kissing and hand holding), fans of young adult, love triangles, dystopians and poetry.

-SW